10 Reasons Why You Need a VPN in 2021

by
Frederik Lipfert
Dr. Frederik Lipfert Founder, vpncheck
Updated on 28 Nov 2021

The Internet has become a vital part of our lives. Almost everything that is there for us to do can be done via the Internet. We can work from home, shop groceries in our pajamas, and speak with friends or family while tucked away in our bed.

The COVID-19 pandemic has further increased our reliance on the Internet. The Wall Street Journal estimates that the average US adult now spends a whopping 16:06 hours a day with digital media, up from 12:24 hours a day before the pandemic upended our lives.  

Unfortunately, the more time we spend on the Internet, the more vulnerable we become to online data theft, malware attacks and snooping by governmental agencies. A virtual private network, or VPN for short, has thus stopped being a luxury and has instead become a necessity.

Why Use a VPN?

Laptop with vpn on screen

If you are using the Internet, you are under threat of surveillance. You have no way of knowing if a website is completely safe to browse or it’s merely being used as a front by privacy abusers, identity thieves, or other malicious actors.  

VPN is essential if you want to protect your identity and keep your privacy safe while browsing the Internet. But these are not the only reasons why everyone, including non-technical persons, should at least consider using a VPN.

Here are ten reasons why you should consider using a VPN:

1. Bypassing Censorship

The Internet is not the same everywhere. Video streaming facilities, such as Netflix, show different pieces of content to users in different countries and regions. Governments, too, have imposed Internet restrictions, ensuring that people living under their jurisdiction can’t access certain apps and websites.

Countries like Iran, North Korea, China, Saudi Arabia, UAE, etc., have imposed Internet browsing restrictions on their population. They have blocked websites like Google, YouTube, Twitter, Wikipedia, and Facebook. Certain news websites are also on the red list of these countries’ governments. 

VPNs solve these problems and give you freedom on the Internet. By changing your IP address and re-route your Internet traffic through servers of another country, they let you access websites blocked by your government. At the same time, VPNs keep your identity hidden, safeguarding your online privacy.

2. Protects Your Identity and Data

Protecting your data and identity should be one of your foremost priorities while you’re online. The Internet has become a vast space for literally everything. It lets you do online shopping, book vacations, and pay bills from the comfort of your home.

Still, while the reach of the Internet has expanded, its security protocols haven’t kept pace. People with malicious intent have developed certain apps, websites, and software that attack your transactions to intercept your sensitive information and monetize it for their personal gains.  

A VPN makes sure such things don’t happen to you. How? By encrypting all the data that goes through its servers. This way, a VPN ensures your online identity remains hidden from the eyes of malicious factors. You can thus browse in a care-free manner on the Internet.

3. Protects You from Government Surveillance

Have you heard about the Pegasus Project? This international investigative journalism initiative revealed that governments worldwide were snooping on opposition politicians, journalists, activists, and other high-profile persons using high-tech mass surveillance tools.

While this heroic effort by journalists is commendable, what they have found isn’t surprising. All of us knew beforehand that our governments keep track of all our online activities. They are aware of the websites we visit, the content of our emails, and what we’re searching on the Internet.

Worse, everything our governments track about us is being recorded on their databases. All of this invasion of user/citizen’s privacy is done in the name of national security, with governments insisting that they are keeping an eye on us for our own benefit.

Your presence here tells us that you don’t believe in this laughing claim. Which is why we suggest you invest in a VPN. By keeping your online activity private and making sure no tracker or monitor could track your Internet browsing habits, a VPN will blunt your government’s tool of mass surveillance.

4. Access Kodi and Other Apps

Kodi is one of the most popular video streaming apps around the globe. Kodi is a free-to-use video streaming tool that gives you access to different streaming services. It also provides you with free streaming links where you can watch your favorite TV shows and movies.

Kodi is free and legal, but sometimes the free content provided by Kodi are illegal and infringe the copyrights of the content. If you are found guilty, legal actions can be taken against you, and you can be sent to prison. A VPN will make it safe for you to stream and watch your favorite movies and shows. 

5. Protects Your Identity

Whether you are aware of it or not, you also have an online identity, just like your physical identity. This digital profile includes your preferences, Internet history, location, IP addresses, what device you use the Internet on, and may even have your banking details.

That’s not the most harrowing part. Your Internet service provider regularly stores your details and sells them to ad companies and agencies for revenue. These companies then use those details to inundate you with targeted ads. 

Does reading all these details make you uneasy? Then a VPN is a must-have for you. By encrypting your Internet connection and masking your online activity, a VPN prevents your ISP from monitoring, storing and selling your browsing history. This, in turn, saves you from the nuisance of targeted ads.

6. Access Blocked Websites in Schools/Workplaces

It is common knowledge that some websites, especially YouTube and social media websites, are blocked on the Internet connections of schools and workplaces. Admins there restrict the users from accessing these websites on the pretext that students and/or employees waste time.

VPNs help you bypass such barriers and let you access any blocked websites without giving the admins a clue about your identity. This way, you can browse your favorite websites on the Internet while others around you are stumped by online barriers.

7. Access Geo-Restricted Content

Netflix has pioneered the art of geo-restriction. If you reside in, say, India, you cannot watch the same content your friend in the USA can view without any hindrance. The same restriction goes both ways – a piece of content visible in your country might not be shown in the other.

A VPN helps you bypass geo-blocks and other content restrictions by routing your traffic through a server not located in your country. At the same time, it keeps your data private, making sure that your identity isn’t leaked to your governmental agencies. However, after their recent crackdown on VPN users, only the best Netflix VPNs are currently stable enough to help you unblock Netflix.

8. Better, Faster Online Gaming Experience

Servers for multiplayer online games are located throughout the world. However, not all of them are the same. Online gamers know that some servers are better than others, with fewer hackers, fewer bots, lower ping, and faster speed. Unfortunately, not everyone can access these servers.

Your Internet connection is to blame. It determines your location from your IP address and forces you to connect to certain servers, even if they’re slow, thus ruining your gaming experience. This, in turn, takes the fun out of online gaming, forcing you to either play offline or not play at all.

That’s where a VPN comes to your rescue. By masking your actual location and letting you connect to servers far from where you’re based, VPNs make your gaming experience smoother, quicker and much better than if you were connected to servers based in your country.

If you want to participate in a gaming tournament, then a VPN is a must. Opponents can hire people to deploy DDoS attacks, which can disconnect you from the game mid-tournament. But since a VPN masks your location and connection, these attacks won’t affect you.

9. Security from Legal Consequences

P2P and torrents have made life so much easier and cheaper at times, but not without consequences. Most of the things available on torrents are pirated versions of copyrighted things. If you download them, you might end up facing legal consequences, including fines, jail time or both.  

Even though some countries turn a blind eye towards privacy, it is still not safe to use these P2P and torrent services on an unsecured connection. Anyone on the same public network as your P2P sharing can see, access, and invade your activity.

But when you use VPN on your Internet connections, no one can access and know what you are sharing on P2P or downloading via torrents. That’s why it is recommended that you use a VPN while downloading torrents.

10. Safety on Public Networks

Many of us have jobs that require us to travel a lot, and during our travels, we need to access the Internet for various professional and personal needs. The Internet that is mostly available to us is the public Internet, and these have zero security.

If you enter your personal data, sensitive bank data or work information on these public networks, anyone else who is connected to the same network can monitor your online activity (at best) or steal your personal information (in the worst-case scenario).

That’s why we suggest that before using a public network, you should connect to a VPN. This way, you’ll be making sure that your device’s traffic is routed through secure channels. 

Conclusion

vpn illustration

A quality VPN like ExpressVPN makes sure that you stay safe on the Internet. Without a VPN, hackers, governmental agencies and cybercriminals might be able to keep an eye on your browsing and downloading activity. Hackers and cybercriminals can mine personal data such as your Social Security Number, intercept your communication channels and get access to your passwords.

All these scenarios would lead to two outcomes. In the best-case scenario, your private information might be uploaded to the dark web, where it could be sold to the highest bidder. In the worst-case scenario, the cybercriminals might take the next step on their own. They could use your private data to blackmail you into giving them your hard-earned money.

As you might guess, neither of the two scenarios is palatable. It’s therefore suggested that you use a VPN to keep your online activity private from attracting any unwanted attention. When looked at this way, a VPN would thus keep you, your loved ones, and your money safe!